49ers should ride Hyde against Giants

This is my Saturday column.

Do the 49ers trust Carlos Hyde.

If the answer is yes, turn him loose this week.

The 49ers have an easy game this Sunday. They play the Giants, losers of four in a row, a team the league has figured out.

The Giants’ run defense is a police escort service for the opposing team’s running back. The past four games, teams have run 140 times for 807 yards against the Giants – 5.8 yards a pop. If you run the ball, the Giants fold.

And the Niners run the ball. So the Giants should fold and fold fast. Simple. The final score should be something like 31-13.

But the Niners have a conundrum. Is it worth wearing down Frank Gore against a bad team?

Gore fades the more he carries the ball. He is 31 years old and he has a chronic hip injury. He’s averaging 3.6 yard per carry in the second half this season, and just 2.8 yards per rush after his 15th rush in a game. The fresher his legs, the better he runs at this point in his career.

And he carried the ball 24 times last week against the Saints. He can’t be fresh. Can the 49ers limit Gore’s playing time this week, save him for a tougher opponent down the road?

That depends on Hyde.

The past three games, Hyde has carried the ball only nine times. But he was outstanding during those nine carriers, averaged 8.5 yards per carry. Last week, the 49ers ran Hyde three times in a row to start overtime. Brilliant. The Saints defense was tired and sore and had no interest in tackling Hyde. He’s too violent.

Hyde is Gore’s opposite. Hyde gets better the more he runs the ball. He wears down defenses with body blows in the first half, and then knocks them out in the second half.

At least he did in college. He averaged 9.4 yards per rush in the fourth quarter at Ohio State last season. Defenses just got out of his way.

Hyde is one of the most talented running backs the 49ers ever have drafted. His combination of speed and power is rare. But those qualities aren’t enough. He has to be a quality blocker if the Niners are going to depend on him.

Pass protection is the toughest aspect of football for a rookie running back to master. Most stud running backs aren’t asked to pass protect in college, so they have to learn the skill in the pros.

A running back who can’t block tips off plays to the defense. It’s because a running back who can’t block won’t be on the field for a pass play. If he’s on the field, it’s probably a run and the defense knows it. Not good.

Is Hyde a liability? Is he tipping plays? I sat down this week with Tom Rathman to find out. Rathman is the 49ers’ running backs’ coach and one of the best blockers in NFL history.

“Every chance he’s had to block a guy, he has been on his guy,” said Rathman. “He’s doing a good job. The biggest thing you look at in protection is are their eyes in the right spot? He’s a little late at times with his eyes in certain spots.”

NFL coaches ask running backs to scan their eyes quickly from left to right in pass protection. The running back has to find and block the sixth rusher if the defense blitzes.

In the fourth quarter against the Saints, Hyde seemed to overlook a rusher and appeared to give up a sack. Hyde stepped up in the pocket to block an inside linebacker, and never saw the outside linebacker, Parys Haralson. Right tackle Anthony Davis blocked the same guy Hyde did, the inside linebacker. Haralson dashed around the edge unmolested.

On TV, color commentator John Lynch blamed Hyde for the sack. “Carlos Hyde is a rookie,” Lynch said. “Frank Gore, there is no one better. Confusion between Anthony Davis and Carlos Hyde. Got to have Frank Gore on the field in that situation.”

Lynch was wrong. Hyde blocked the right guy. Hyde has begun to learn how to block and whom to block. He has passed the beginner stage.

“Actually, (Hyde) had the inside linebacker,” said Rathman. “The tackle (Anthony Davis) was responsible for the outside linebacker.”

If there’s one thing Hyde has to work on to elevate his overall game, what is it?

“To be a complete player and a consistent player, I can’t just pinpoint one thing,” said Rathman. “He has done a great job to date, but the game is so big that it takes so long for a kid to understand the game from the top to the bottom, all the fine-line stuff. He’s still trying to figure that out right now.”

Let him figure that out this week against the worst run defense in football.

Turn him loose.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 83 Comments

  1. They should, for the most part, sit Gore. Let Hyde and Ellington(if he’s available) get reps. Ellington should be motioned out of the backfield or line him up at fullback and have him run routes.

  2. This is a huge trap game and I do not share any of Grant’s sentiments plus when Gee-Cee calls a blowout we always lose. Hope not this time…

    1. Ghost, I have the same concern. This reminds me of the prelude to the Bears game. We were supposed to run all over them, as I recall. NY will be ready for our running game. But if our offense dominates, I think the season has turned up for us. Otherwise and I expect a nail biter.

    2. Yep. Last week the Giants were moving the ball well and very competetive the first 3 quarters. Eli was actually picking apart that Seahawks defense until he threw an interception late in the 3rd and that started their implosion in the 4th.

  3. Grant, if what you say about Anthony Davis missing the assignment and the rookie getting it right, what does that say about Davis? Do you know how PFF evaluates him?

    1. Not to question the Oline coach but that sounds like poor planning. They are asking the Olineman to slide to the furthest outside rusher?

      This goes contrary to everything I was ever taught when playing. Not only does it ask both players to pass on blocking the nearest defenders to block the further ones from them. But it would also mean the tackle would be too far outside for the Guard to pass off a rusher too, should the defense run a stunt unless the RB can fill very quickly. If the RB cant fill quickly this also creates a large gap should they try to pass the defender off the RB, as they would be deeper in the backfield by the nature of their position.

      1. Makes a lot of sense. I will also argue that Davis is not that quick. I would welcome someone to challenge me on this, because I would like to be wrong.

    2. Davis is 54th/75 tackles. His game ratings have been 1.7, -3.8, -2.5, -2.5 (games 4, 7, 9, 10).

  4. Yeah guess your memory of our history playing NY is pretty cloudy or you were still nursing.To think we are just going to roll over NY and Eli is being pretty narrow minded.This game is going to be tougher then you think and with our beat up Defense it is going to be anything but simple. I do agree we should give Hyde the start though. 2 reasons 1 st because we need to save Gore for the big games and 2nd and most important is I am starting Hyde in place of Arian Foster on my Fantasy team :)

    1. I agree with all that you said.

      However, you mean “tougher than”, rather than “tougher then”.

  5. Although I agree that the 49ers should trust Hyde more, the question is to what extent?
    Hyde looks to be the heir-apparent to Gore but he has not been a slam-dunk runner that I could say without reservation is ready to step in right now imo.

    Hyde has shown a few flashes but as of now, FG is still ‘the man.’
    Also, I wouldn’t mind Gore resting against NYG but given the Giants bad run D this is the perfect scenario for FG to pad his stats.

    My nightmare game plan: Roman decides he can pass on the Giants because they will be locked on to stopping the run – aarrrgggh!
    Stick to the RUN!

      1. Scott,
        You make a good point, but Hyde not having that many carries also speaks to the extent of trust the team has in him at the moment.

        Another thing that I always take into consideration is how do players perform in practice.
        This is where I believe that coaches make the ultimate decisions on how much time a player see’s on the field.
        Hyde seems to be adapting well to the offense with each game and his blocking is improving. I expect him to grab about 30% of the carries tomorrow – and that percentage could grow if the 49ers are blowing out the Giants by half-time.

    1. I think they will try to do the same thing like last week, come out pounding the ball and control the flow of the game. The second half though, well that is another story.

  6. I don’t agree, and never take a game lightly. I would like to see a 50/50 split of Gore/Hyde and a run heavy offense for this game. I would also like to see the 49ers stop using Hyde on kickoff returns as this is just too dangerous for a RB of his style. Take a kneeldown or let it bounce into the end zone on kickoffs, start at the 20.

    1. I agree, that one kick return last week when Hyde blew up one of the Saints is a prefect example. I saw Hyde getting up with his head down, the way he looked I was concerned he might have got a concussion. Especially when I saw the replay and you could see their heads collide.

  7. I’m not sure let it loose is what the 49ers offense should do with Hyde. It’s pretty evident that they tried to trust him in pass protection but he still needs work.
    Like they have always done as an offense being successful, be balanced and don’t be predictable. The running game was great with Glenn Coffee, Boobie and Gore when each guy was able to run the ball, catch passes out of the backfield and of course, protect the franchise QB.
    Hyde has to be able to do all the tasks a RB is required to do. He’s not a rookie anymore and if he can’t pass protect, he has to sit. Anyone remember Lawrence Phillips?
    The other point of saving Gore is not an option. If the Niners lose Sunday, the playoff picture gets murky. Playoffs for this team started last week and goes til December. Then the real playoffs begin, hopefully!

    1. Where are you getting Hyde’s bad in protection? Its pretty clear from Harbaugh and Rathman it was on A Davis? In his other games he’s been pretty good.

      “Actually, (Hyde) had the inside linebacker,” said Rathman. “The tackle (Anthony Davis) was responsible for the outside linebacker.”

          1. How many snaps has he played all year? Don’t be so analytical on one play. Look at the entire body of work Scooter.

            1. Ok, lets look at the entire body of work.

              According to Rotowire, Hyde has played 170 snaps on the season. Gore has 332, and is on pace to see his fewest snaps in a regular season since Harbaugh took over. Basically a 2:1 ratio.


              It should be noted that those snap counts don’t include the first St Louis game for some reason. Given they shared the carries 16 to Gore, 11 to Hyde in that game, I don’t imagine it would change the 2:1 ratio much.

              If they didn’t trust Hyde, he wouldn’t be playing as much as he does.

              1. That’s not a lot of snaps. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t picked up the offense that well or its because the Niners pretended they were a spread passing team. Hopefully they learnt their lesson!

              2. Um, that’s about 1/3 of the team’s snaps Prime. That is quite a lot for a #2 RB, given you only have 1 of Gore or Hyde on the field at a time. I think a more reasonable explanation as to why Hyde doesn’t have more snaps is simple – he has Frank Gore in front of him on the depth chart.

                Let me put it this way, the only #2 RBs with more snaps than Hyde are guys that have started in place of the the #1 RBs on their team a few games due to injury (Jeremy Hill, Terrance West, Ronnie Hillman, Knile Davis, Bobby Rainey) or guys on teams that have a true RB sharing system with no clear cut #1 RB (Lions with Bush and Bell, Colts with Richardson and Bradshaw, Vikings with Asiata and McKinnon, Jets with Ivory and Johnson, Chargers with Oliver and Brown, Redskins with Morris and Helu).

              3. With the Niners averaging 65.7 offensive snaps, per game, and as you say he has played 170 snaps all year, that’s less than 30% over 9 games. Of those 170 snaps, how many times has he touched the ball, 54. Thats a weak average of only 6 carries per game.Not good enough for a 2nd round pick.
                Also, only 17 yards receiving. Again that’s poor production.
                As we know with this coaching staff, if you can’t do the little things like block, see Vance Macdonald, you don’t get opportunities.

              4. As I mentioned, the 170 snaps excludes the first game against the Rams for some unknown reason. In the eight games they provide snap counts for, he’s averaged around 21 snaps a game. That’s around one third of snaps. And he’s had his share of 3rd down snaps in there too.

                As for the amount of carries, the number of carries is down across the board, as has been discussed ad nauseam. Gore has only 123 carries on 332 snaps for the games Rotowire has both snaps and carries tallied.

                Saying that’s not good enough for a second round pick is ridiculous. The only way Hyde was ever going to get more carries and snaps this year was if Gore got injured, or he supplanted Gore as the #1 RB. The latter was always an unlikely scenario.

              5. Come on Scooter. of those 170 snaps,
                half of those are breathers for Gore. The touches he had, 54 for yards is not good. The 17 yards receiving is also terrible.
                So my point is Hyde does play much because he’s a rookie who has not developed the other intracies of being a RB,like pass protection. Why else would he not be on the field more? It has nothing to do with Gore. Pretty sure Roman as history has shown would rather run the ball than throw it. Keep it out of CK’s as ych as you can.

              6. “Why else would he not be on the field more?”

                Did you not read my previous posts? Look at the other teams in the NFL I outlined that have their #2 RBs taking more snaps than Hyde. The only reason Hyde would be seeing the field more than he is would be if Gore got hurt, or the 49ers decided to go a true RB by committee approach.

                As for being no good at pass protection, something you seem to be missing here is that Hyde had 43 carries in those 170 snaps (again, keeping in mind we don’t have the snap count for the Rams game where he had 11 carries). What was he doing on those other 127 snaps? Even if you account for some Kaepernick runs, and some plays where he’s a receiver from the backfield, I’m guessing pass pro makes up a reasonably large share of his total snaps.

                If he was as terrible at pass protection as you believe, and the coaches didn’t trust him like you believe, why would he be out there on passing plays so often? Why wouldn’t they run more often when he is in the game?

              7. Scooter what does what other NFL teams do with their backs and what their averaging having anything to do with Hyde and the 49ers? They all run different offenses so how do those averages equate to a consistent trend? All it is, is a subjective projection?
                Of the pass plays he was in, how many did he actually stand in and have to block? We’re they in the spread, 2 back set, and how many times does he make contact and block?
                If you are going to use stats then you better be able to justify everything that goes into them!
                You are saying he is good at pass protecting, well justify it. I’m saying he isn’t because he hasn’t been on the field much based on his production and percentage of total plays in 9 games.
                Good players get more opportunities based on production and touches.

              8. “All it is, is a subjective projection?”. First off, no, it is not a subjective projection (or opinion). It is an opinion derived from observed facts regarding how other teams typically use their #2 RBs.

                But on subjective opinions, you do realise your whole argument is subjective, and based on your own opinion that seeing 1/3 of snaps as the #2 RB is not a lot, right? And that your opinion of his inability to block has nothing to do with any information to support it other than a belief that if he was good at it he would see the field more?

                Now I don’t have any stats that show how many times he’s been in pass protection, or how effective he’s been. But the fact he is above average in terms of number of snaps for a #2 RB would suggest your opinion about him seeing the field more if he was good in pass protection is at best questionable. If he was so bad, surely he would see the field less than most #2 RBs.

                Further, we have Tom Rathman confirming in this interview with Grant that Hyde didn’t mess up the protection for the sack last week. That was Davis.

                If you believe Hyde should be getting more touches, are you saying Hyde should replace Gore, who has years of production behind him? Because that is the only way he’s going to get more snaps and carries.

              9. Scooter says “It is an opinion derived from observed facts regarding how other teams typically use their #2 RBs.

                Again that has nothing to do with how the Niners use their RB’ s in a why or why not situation. We are talking about Hyde and why he doesn’t play more and one of the main reasons why rookie backs don’t play more snaps is because they cannot read the defense and pick up pass protection assignments. Just because Rathman said he made the right read on one play means he gets it? You are over analyzing one play.

                “Now I don’t have any stats that show how many times he’s been in pass protection”

                So don’t use them and don’t pretend to know or say he is
                doing well at pass protecting.

                “If he was so bad, surely he would see the field less than most #2 RBs.
                Again it’s not a consistent standard to measure because how other teams use their #2RB’s has nothing to do directly with how the 49ers do it. Every other team uses a different offense, personnel groupings. What about injuries? You can’t use that stat because it’s different for every team. There is not consistent sample size to say “well NFL teams use their #2 back is because of this…..it’s hypothetical almost.

                My opinion of Hyde not playing more is because what every rookie RB must learn before playing a substantial role. Thats pass protecting. We’ve seen him run, return kicks and even catch some balls. However, he hasn’t been given more of an opportunity (more than 30% of plays) is because he is still learning the NFL game as Rathman indicated.

              10. “Don’t pretend to know or say he is doing well at pass protecting.” But you get to pretend you know he isn’t?

                And I shouldn’t use incomplete stats to support my argument, but you think its ok to just throw out arguments based on nothing but your opinion and expect people to take it as the gospel truth?

                You don’t like the comparisons with other teams? Fine Prime, how about the 2012 and 2013 49ers seasons. Do they provide a useful barometer?

                In 2012 and 2013, Hunter, James and Dixon were the primary back up RBs. They combined for a total of 258 snaps in 2012, and 268 snaps in 2013.

                Through 8 games Hyde had 170 snaps. On pace for 340 snaps. That’s around a 30% increase in the number of snaps from the backup RBs compared to 2012 and 2013.

                Btw, I’ve never said he was doing well in pass protecting. I just don’t think he’s as bad as you believe, or that the coaching staff are limiting his snaps because he hasn’t mastered the nuances of pass protection. That appears to be supported by Rathman’s comments about Hyde doing a good job in pass protection, and by the number of snaps he’s played where he’s not been running the ball.

              11. Gospel truth? No one said you had to reply, agree or disagree.

                Why do most rookies coming into the NFL don’t play a substantial role thier first year? Because it’s a steep learning curve. Like Harbaugh said, it’s a huge step from highschool football to college to the pros.
                I don’t think you need a stat to prove that. It’s evident in the NFL since, well almost since forever. You are trying to prove otherwise for Hyde through meaningless stats and comparisons to other teams and teams of the past who have run different offenses.

              12. Mate, all I’m saying is I think the reason Hyde doesn’t see the field more is simple – he has an excellent RB in front of him in Gore.

                I’m not saying he’s the finished article, or that he excels in pass protection. I don’t believe either to be true. But I don’t believe he is bad in pass protection either, and I certainly don’t think he is being limited in his snaps due to coaches concerns regarding his ability in pass protection. If they didn’t trust him, there is no way they would have carried just two RBs for a large portion of the season.

                And while you don’t like the stats, they support my opinion that the coaches are trusting Hyde to share the snaps, more than they have ever trusted another backup RB.

              13. And all I’m saying is that your stats don’t support your arguement. If the coaches trusted Hyde he would be playing more. Contributimg more within the offense and playing more than 30% of the total snaps. Why isn’t he? Well because he is not doing the detailed things required. Most likely what every rookie RB struggles with, pass protection.

        1. The same reason Hunter, James, Dixon and every other back we have doesn’t play. Gore is their Cowbell. Gore’s still the best back on the team, tired or hurt. Hyde pass protects fine. Other than your opinion what evidence on the field in actual games do you have that Hyde isn’t pass protecting well?

        2. I would also add that its pretty well known that they’d like him to let the wholes develop a little more and follow his blockers better. He didn’t really have to do that much at the Buckeyes if you watch his tape. He was running through gaps 3-5yds wide.

          1. Thank you, Jack. I was hoping someone would have those stats.

            Would the coaching staff put him in pass protection around 12 to 13 snaps a game if they didn’t trust him to do it? Highly doubtful.

            1. Scooter, your case was sound. Prime’s presumption was built on a belief that if the coaches trusted Hyde he’d play more. He sees it as the only reason for his number of snaps. Nothing you were going to write was going to persuade him that having an all pro in front of him might have a greater influence on playing time. Too Prime I would say see D Johnson, or Borland. Their lack of playing time wasn’t because the coaches didn’t trust them. Its because the players in front of them are better and more experienced.

              1. Fangio did not trust Tank until reinforcements required him to do so. If the coaches did not trust Mr. Hyde, he would have never seen the field. Coach Wrathman explains where he is in terms of his trust level, and I’d say it is at level 9 out 10. The philosophy of this coaching staff is, what does the rookie do with an opportunity when it presents itself? That performance will go into determining how many more opportunities he’ll receive. I like the way the staff makes players earn their time, and the way they build the intensity within their desire to get out on the field and help their team….

    2. Prime,
      I see the 49ers digging into the draft for some well needed RB help next year.
      Gore has been and is one of my favorite all-time 49ers, and even though he is in a category all to himself as a player who has overcome all the odds to find success, he won’t be around forever.

      Hyde will grab all of Gore’ carries after he is gone but the team will still need at least 2-3 RB’ that can be counted on behind Hyde. Not sure KHunt can be trusted to stay healthy for a full season, but if he can he would be a huge help.
      I see us drafting a RB (maybe two) between 3-5 rd to help up the position.

      1. I see them drafting another RB next year too, AES. I don’t think they’ll take two though – I expect they’ll bring in some help through FA, either bringing Gore back for another year or getting another vet that can help carry the load as needed.

        1. Scooter,
          With Hyde eventually taking the role as the “hammer” type RB, I believe the 49ers will be eyeing a change of pace RB in the draft.

          There are some intriguing prospects that could be available between the 2-5 rd next year.
          1. Duke Johnson*, RB, Miami
          Height: 5-9. Weight: 200.
          Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
          Quick first step with break away speed.

          2. Tevin Coleman*, RB, Indiana
          Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
          Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
          Not a speed back, but is very productive.

          3. David Cobb, RB, Minnesota
          Height: 5-11. Weight: 220.
          Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
          This guy is closer to Hyde’ running style but a step slower. Very productive.

          The top RB’ like Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon (who ran for over 400 yrds today) will be gone in the 1st round.

          1. I’ve not really been looking at the 2015 draft as yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ameer Abdullah is a guy the 49ers take a long look at.

  8. excellent job getting an interview with Rathman and getting some info on the running back blocking assignments.

    yup, like other that stated, I fear a trap game. I wouldn’t count on being able to run all over a team…even if they have shown to have a poor run defense. I can en vision them selling out to stop the run and challenging the Niners to beat them with the pass (it’s what I would do if I were them). So I hope the Niners still have a well rounded offensive game plan that doesn’t just count on them running over the Giants.

  9. Frank Gore is hurt. Why risk him getting injured and being done for the year. It makes ZERO sense. Especially if we win and he get injured. Rest Gore, Thanksgiving Day will be here soon.

  10. Grant how can a team that lost to Chicago and the Rams expect, ahead of time, that any game will be easy?

    “Hyde is one of the most talented running backs the 49ers ever have drafted.”

    I’m not sure what being drafted has to do with it. Just based on Hyde’s talent, he has quite a way to go to be mentioned as one of the best ever 49er running backs. Before you were born the 49ers had three hall of fame running backs in the same backfield.

    I’ve seen all the 49er running backs and at this moment there are a lot of them with records significantly ahead of Hyde’s potential. What you call “fear of tackling him” I call Hyde’s unusual ability, for a big man, to make people miss. He has power but it doesn’t look like “beast mode” to me yet.

      1. Wilbur Jackson, Tom Rathman, Delvin Williams, Ricky Watters, Wendell Tyler, Johnny Strzykalski, J.D. Smith, Garrison Hearst, Roger Craig, Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, and Frank Gore is a pretty good list.

        Roger Craig’s run against the Rams and Garrison Hearst’s run for well over 90 yards in overtime are two of my most vivid memories. Watching Hugh McElhenny was joy any time he had the the ball.

    1. I’m a young niners fan. My earliest memory was Roger Craig and Tom Rathman. With that being said I did have an issue with “Hyde gets better as the game goes on”. I think we were saying the same thing about Gore last year and every other year. We just have not ran the ball like we normally do. I agree with HTWAITS… Your quick to bestow greatness on people way too early.

  11. Clive Walford is a nice looking TE. He plays for the Hurricanes. I hate the u but that TE looked nice

    1. They should shut Bowman down for the year. No point in forcing him back and setting him back further. I’d rather have him 100% for next season then bring him back at 75% and risk further set backs.

      1. It can take two years to get back to 100% and nothing is for sure with a simple ACL let alone for sure. Our son had four ACLs done on the same knee by Roger Craig’s Orthopedic surgeon. None of them were caused by contact.

  12. Hyde has carried the ball only nine times. But he was outstanding during those nine carriers, averaged 8.5 yards per carry.
    Have you considered the possibility that the only reason his average is that high is because he only gets 9 carries a game? When you are the change of pace back you have the advantage of the defense not necessarily counting on you getting the ball as well as having incredibly fresh legs. You say ride Hyde but how do you know he’s any good as an every down back?

  13. Beastmode up in Seattle is reportedly unhappy. He’d look good in scarlet and gold depending on the $$$…

    1. Where did you see he was unhappy? Or were you referring to previous reports. I thought he’d be a good fit as well. Especially to finish his career. I’d rather have lynch not wanting to speak with media than have Sherman who talks too much. I have no problem with players not wanting to speak to people who do not have your best interest in mind.

  14. To repeat myself, Hyde will have to match a list like this to ever be in the best 49er 49er running back list.

    Wilbur Jackson, Tom Rathman, Delvin Williams, Ricky Watters, Wendell Tyler, Johnny Strzykalski, J.D. Smith, Garrison Hearst, Roger Craig, Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, and Frank Gore is a pretty good list.

    Roger Craig’s run against the Rams and Garrison Hearst’s run for well over 90 yards in overtime are two of my most vivid memories. Watching Hugh McElhenny was joy any time he had the the ball.

    I only saw Johnny Strzykalski play twice. The rest of the time it was in my imagination through the magic of radio. ;-}

    1. I would add Ken Willard to that list as well.
      Another hardnosed RB with a lions heart that we were cheated on because of a bad knee injury was Paul Hofer – loved his fearless style.

      1. I agree with Willard and Hofer, but Hofer’s knee was destroyed and I didn’t want to get Willard criticized by Grant for his yards per run statistics. Willard was a prime example of data not telling the whole story.

        1. While Hofer played he lived around the corner from my mother’s house. He was the only excitement that Walsh had to work with at first.

          There wasn’t much of a problem scoring in the red zone with Willard.

    2. What no love for John David Crow? He completed more passes than any other non-quarterback in history with 33 completions, including five touchdowns.

        1. Being a short dude myself I always liked watching Bill Ring’s hustle and toughness. Remember Bobby Farrel? Backup FB and ST bomber.
          No love for Terrance Flagler & Kevin Barlowe, LOL?

          1. Brotha Tuna

            Personally, I liked both of those guys…Flagler was so damned fast when he got past scrimmage, but he got dinged once, and never got on the field much after that. I still don’t know what happened with Barlow …I remember that they didn’t like his ‘dance moves’ I think they wanted him to be another Rathman…straight ahead…with attitude

  15. another sunday, not knowing what to expect from my one read-panicking QB……

    I just know its not his fault, because

    1. WR’s and TE’s will be dropping passes
    2. The center is a rookie and won’t snap the ball properly
    3. The O-Line can’t pass protect
    4. The OC play calling sucks
    5. The HC is leaving so he his not taking it seriously
    6. The defense only allowed 1 TD
    7. The grass was imported from china
    8. The RB can’t pick up the blitz
    9. The fans whinning for an explosive offense are drunk on wine from italy
    10. Obama is still POTUS

  16. Are the Saints up to shenanigans again? PFT reports an NFL investigation into stashing a player. According to the story they waived a guy whom they hoped to sign back to their PS. But when the Broncos claimed him and then called him he was still at the Saints’ facility working with the team. Doh!
    In other news, M. Lynch faces a $100k fine for not talking to media. Heck, I’d be willing to take up a collection to pay $100k to Sherman so he wouldn’t talk to anybody.

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